Historical Events

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Corpulence seems here to have been the harbinger of the scurvy. The only one he ever saw affected with the scurvy was a young man remarkably corpulent. From the whole of his observations it appears clearly that obesity predisposed his patients to scurvy.

January 1, 1793

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Observations on the Nature and Cure of Calculus, Sea Scurvy, Consumption, Catarrh, and Fever

Carbotoxicity
Obesity
Scurvy

Among the Africans, of whose sufferings on board the slave ship Dr. Trotter has given so particular and affecting an history, corpulence seems to have been , as it were, the first stage of scurvy. “When a negro was becoming rapidly fat,'” says he, “it was no difficult matter to determine how soon he would be seized with the scurvy; so that corpulence seems here to have been the harbinger of the scurvy. Writers have been particular in noticing that this disease seldom or never produces emaciation. Dr. Trotter, upon whose information we may place full reliance , tells us, that having purposely inquired among his medical acquaintances in the navy, he did not find one who considered the wasting of the flesh or absorption of fat as a symptom congenial to scurvy . He immediately subjoins some observations of his own, that clearly indicate a connection between the scurvy and obesity (p. 98 , 99.). "In a corpulent state of the body,” he says, “the most hideous features of the disease are expressed; such are the bloated looks and countenance, & c. In a mess of midshipmen, who lived altogether on the ship’s fare, the only one he ever saw affected with the scurvy was a young man remarkably corpulent. From the whole of his observations it appears clearly that obesity predisposed his patients to scurvy, or rather was to them what cachexia is to dropsy.